7 Drinks That Can Make Hangovers Worse

by Carina Wolff
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Most of us like to enjoy drinks out with our friends, but nothing kills a fun night out quite like a hangover. We all know that the less you drink, the less icky you'll feel the next day, but it's also important to know what drinks increase your chances of a dreaded hangover. Sure, that margarita might taste delicious, but stick to the drink all night, and you'll be waking up with a dry mouth and a pounding headache in the morning.

"Certain drinks cause more intense hangovers," says Tory Tedrow, RD, CNSC for by email. "Alcoholic carbonated beverages are absorbed faster due to the carbonation, which can cause you to get much drunker much faster, setting you up for a nasty hangover. Drinks that contain congeners, a byproduct of fermentation that gives certain alcohols their deep colors (think brandy or red wine), tend to heighten hangover symptoms."

In addition to drinking lots of water, eating food before you go out, and drinking in moderation, you can avoid that grotesque post-drinking feeling the following day by making the right choices when it comes to your drinks. If you want to try your best to avoid feeling hungover in the morning, avoid these seven drinks that can cause a hangover or make it worse.

1. Tropical Drinks

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Tempting as those rum punches and mai tais sound, tropical drinks probably aren't your best bet for a hangover-free morning. "These typically include multiple alcohols whose flavors are masked by sweeteners making them easy to suck down," says Tedrow. "This causes you to drink more than you intended, leading to nasty hangovers."

2. Well Liquors

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No one wants to spend a pretty penny at the bar, but sometimes you do get what you pay for. "Lower-end liquors tend to have more congeners, which is why you feel much worse after a night drinking cheap liquor vs. top shelf," says Tedrow.

3. Dark Liquors

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"Darker alcohols also contain more congeners," says Tedrow. "Stick to lighter liquors like vodka to lessen hangovers." A study from the British Medical Journal found that bourbon is the worst for a hangover, followed by whiskey, brandy, and rum.

4. Red Wine

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I know well all love Wine Wednesday, but it could lead to a miserable Thursday. "Again, congeners are to blame here," say Tedrow. "If you are in a wine mood, white wine is your best bet if you need to be a functioning human in the morning."

5. Champagne

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"Champagne is also connected to hangovers because of the carbon dioxide that is pumped into the champagne to cause the bubbles," says Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN in an email. "The carbon dioxide causes the alcohol to be quickly absorbed into the blood stream, faster than other drinks."

6. Sugary Mixers

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"Mixers such as sodas or sweetened juices are loaded with sugars, which alone can make you feel bad," says Tedrow. "But the combo of alcohol and excess sugar can really make you feel terrible the next morning. Stick with low sugar mixers like soda water or a splash of lime juice to feel your best."

7. Caffeinated Drinks

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"Vodka Red Bulls might help you stay awake, but they're a dangerous duo. This is the worst combo for hangovers and in general," says Fiorella DiCarlo RD, CDN over email. "You have depressant and a stimulant together in the body, and that often causes the drinker to drink a lot more and for longer." You might feel alive at night, but you'll be zapped of energy in the morning.

Remember, the best way to limit a hangover is to drink less, but choosing the right drinks can make a difference!

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